Senate OKs cap on liquor store ownership in Tennessee

The state Senate has approved a bill that would place new limits on liquor store ownership in Tennessee, shrugging off concerns raised by some Republicans about creating special protections from market forces.

The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro is mostly aimed at allowing grocery stores to begin obtaining licenses and stocking their shelves ahead of the July 1 date that they will be able to sell wine.

But a provision to limit liquor store owners to two statewide licenses drew the ire of Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains, who called it “cold, hard protectionism” and contrary to Republican principles.

But an effort to remove the liquor store cap from the bill failed before the chamber passed the measure on a 21-6 vote Monday.

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